"האם אבא בא?"
Translation:Is dad coming?
98 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
Like they said. If "האם" is used it implies a Yes/No question. But it's not mandatory, and in informal speech is usually omitted, and then you can understand by either a question mark when reading, or a higher intonation at the end of the sentence when speaking (as used in many languages)
Vered, when you associate an "a" sound with an "aleph" or an "ee" sound with a "yod", you may be referring to the Tips for the "Letters 3" skill, in which the Ktiv malé: "Full Spelling" section explains how a consonant can sometimes be used to represent a vowel instead of a consonant. Those tips are at
Except for those situations, I've learned to consider the aleph to be silent, so the only sound with it is the sound of its vowel, which we have to learn for each word; and the yod, when it's pronounced, has the English "Y" sound plus its vowel.
The vowel symbols (nikud) are shown, and their sounds described, in the Tips for "Letters 2", at
This course uses nikud only rarely, and tells us not to use them in our answers.
Unfortunatly, hebrew doesn't have "real" vowels to guide you while reading. There are letters that may, sometimes, be "vowels". A ו (Vav) in the middle of a word may indicate an /o/ or /u/ sound. For instance - גורם (noun - cause, verb - cause/s) is pronounced /gorem/ - the Vav stands for the O. Hanukkah is חנוכה - the Vav stands for the U. The letter י (Yud/Yod) in a middle of a word may indicate an /ee/ sound. For example - אישה (a woman) is pronounced /eesha/ - the Yud/Yod stands for the /ee/. However, sometimes you should just guess (or actually, memorize) - like in האם. Hebrew is an abjad - it's more about consonants, not "real" vowels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abjad
Learning the alphabet might help ofc, although for this specific problem there aren't many rules, you usually have to understand the word from context. Here, for example, the only vowels with rules are the Bets (ב) in אבא בא. There's an Aleph (א) following, so they have to be pronounced as 'Ba'. As for the rest - you're gonna have to memorize :)
OR: We can learn like kids do in Israel. We can be introduced to the vowel markers at first and then have them removed later. And if people alraedy know all of this they can test out and move on. This is such a simple thing to do. Duolingo can do this SO EASILY. They do it great for japanese! But not hebrew. So wierd.
Not as easy as you think. There are sentences where nikkud is used, but it has been causing soo much trouble and bugs, because Duolingo system isn't really good with non-alphabet languages. It's gotten much better, but the problem is that Hebrew was developed on the old platform, and Japanese, which you mention, on the new platform. That is why they teach it differently. But in order for Hebrew to do the same, you need a total re-doing of the tree, which isn't easy, nor fast.
Ha'im is a question word that you put before a yes/no question. Let's take the declaration אבא בא (dad is coming), and make a yes/no question of it (is dad coming?). For this, we would add האם before אבא בא, and a question mark at the end of the sentence - האם אבא בא? (is dad coming?). When saying this phrase, we would obviously use an intonation of a question. Another example - let's take the declaration "החדר קטן" (ha'kheder katan, the room is small), and make a yes/no question out of it (is the room small?). Again - האם, ?, and intonation. האם החדר קטן? yes or no. כן או לא. *Note:*** in every day speech and writing, we would not use האם at all. Only a question mark while writing, and an intonation of a question while speaking. האם אבא בא? will turn into אבא בא?. (lalala computer don't mess up my Hebrew and English pleassseee). האם החדר קטן? will turn into החדר קטן?.
Unfortunatly, hebrew doesn't have "real" vowels to guide you while reading. There are letters that may, sometimes, be "vowels". A ו (Vav) in the middle of a word may indicate an /o/ or /u/ sound. For instance - גורם (noun - cause, verb - cause/s) is pronounced /gorem/ - the Vav stands for the O. Hanukkah is חנוכה - the Vav stands for the U. The letter י (Yud/Yod) in a middle of a word may indicate an /ee/ sound. For example - אישה (a woman) is pronounced /eesha/ - the Yud/Yod stands for the /ee/. However, sometimes you should just guess (or actually, memorise) - like in האם. That is pronounced /ha'im/. Hebrew is an abjad - it's more about consonants, not "real" vowels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abjad
If you've got them both activated, then (theoretically) you can set them to different hotkeys, and switch back and forth by pressing the appropriate key combination. I say theoretically because, for whatever reason, my hotkeys refuse to stay bound.
Or, default is [Ctrl]+[Shift] to cycle through all of your activated keyboards.
i am hebrew native speaker, and i didn't got the answer myself yet. Duolingo is better, because he has the text aligen almost without mistakes, but most of the websites are not so good. i recommend putting the hebrew part in a new line, or between two marks like: (hebrew)\n עברית
You can always pronounce the ה. There are no situations in which you shouldn’t pronounce it. However in colloquial Hebrew, many speakers
drop the initial h for ease of speaking.
Especially with she היא
he הוא, the Duolingo speakers often drop the initial h, both when the word occurs at the start of the sentence or is in the middle of the sentence.